LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) — Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips was the first individual to serve in his position in the organization who didn’t hail from the Halas or McCaskey family. He's now set to retire early this year after 24 seasons in his position and with a legacy of mixed results.
As he leaves, Phillips is holding his head high, proud of his work and the team’s accomplishments during his tenure — but he also wishes there would've been more wins along the way.
“Building Soldier Field, put the club on a financial footing that I’m really proud of where they can go into the future and feel good about it” Phillips said Tuesday, when the Bears introduced Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren as their new president/CEO. "And being part of the process of hiring my successor, just being involved in that and having someone of the quality of Kevin is amazing. I have no regrets. Forty years is a true blessing for me.
“The on-field success hasn’t been there. That has been a disappointment, not a regret. But it has been a disappointment. Other than that, I feel pretty good about leaving the Bears in a better place than where I started.”
Phillips initially joined the Bears as their controller in 1983. He was hired as the team’s president and CEO in 1999, becoming just the fourth person to fill that role.
While Phillips helped establish greater financial footing for the Bears, the team made the playoffs just six times during his 24-season tenure. The Bears were 180-206 (.466) in the regular season during Phillips' term. Chicago also had five general managers and seven head coaches during his tenure.
“Let’s see, we’ve had 45 different quarterbacks I think since we won the Super Bowl,” Phillips said. “So, that’s probably No. 1.”
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.